Talks

Good Grief! Artist Talks: That's Art!

Select Wednesdays
13.00 -13.30
Free with exhibition entry

Exhibition entry - £14.00 / £11.00 concessions, Under 12s free

Spaces allocated on a first come first served basis, spaces are limited.

Embankment Galleries
Meet in Studio Cinema

Exhibiting artists from Good Grief, Charlie Brown! walk and talk us through their own relationship with Charles M.Schulz’s Peanuts characters, sharing insight into the influential impact they’ve had on the creation of contemporary works.

Meet makers and collectors from across disciplines as they discuss punchy protagonists, political and philosophical sway, culture jamming in creative economies and the bittersweet balance of an artist lifestyle that lives on. 

WED 07 NOV 2018 | 13.00-13.30
RUSS GATER – PEANUTS COLLECTOR AND CO-FOUNDER OF LIFESTYLE BRAND TSPTR


Russ Gater is one half of the clothing brand TSPTR and a Peanuts aficionado. The one time Cultural Theory lecturer has been collecting Peanuts ephemera for over 25 years, with a particular interest in Schulz’s influence on wider culture, counter culture and politics during the 1960’s. His lifestyle brand TSPTR is a torch bearer for Snoopy and the gang across the globe. Their Peanuts designs aren’t just fashion statements, they’re cultural sign-posts reflecting a revolutionary and incendiary period that help shape the America of today.

WED 05 DEC 2018 | 13.00-13.30
MIRA CALIX – ARTIST AND COMPOSER, DISCUSSING HER PERFORMANCE PIECE


Mira Calix is an award-winning artist and composer based in the United Kingdom. Music and sound, which she considers a sculptural material, are at the centre of her practice. Her work explores the manipulation of the material into visible, physical forms through multi-disciplinary installations, sculpture, video and performance works. Calix’s practice is deliberately disjunctive, allowing research, site, and subject to influence a fluid choice of materials and mediums.

Calix wrote, choreographed and produced if or unless?, 2018, to be a process-based performance filmed in the Somerset House gallery to be exhibited at Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Mira speaks of her relationship to Peanuts creator Schulz’s work stating that “Schulz really portrayed music as an animated character throughout the Peanuts strips. It was the first time I had seen musical notation fly, bend, be embraced, wrestled with. He made me consider music as an object in time and space”

WED 09 JAN 2018 | 13.00-13.30
DES HUGHES – SCULPTOR AND SELF-TAUGHT TEXTILE ARTIST

A witty, dark and sensitive humour runs through the work of British artist Des Hughes. His practice is an obsessive, physical enquiry into the traditions of sculpture, rethinking conventional methods and materials. Nothing is as it first appears: crudely modelled clay is meticulously cast in resin but, with the inclusion of marble or iron dust, could easily have been carved from a block of stone or forged in a blacksmith’s furnace. He collects, he dismembers, he puts things back together in fragments, or leaves pieces in an unfinished state-or just leaves them in pieces. There is always a tender acknowledgement of the canon of modernist sculpture, and of the fragile heroism inherent in the handmade object.

Alongside this sculptural work, textiles have also become a potent aspect of his practice. Whilst time-consuming, his embroidering looks spontaneous, like a handwritten scrawl. His cross-stitch is self-taught and has a distinctly amateur appearance; raw edges and wonky letters give his samplers a homespun quality.

A poster on Des Hughes’s childhood bedroom wall of an image of Snoopy and Charlie Brown’s heads fused together in a strangely organic manner inspired his artwork Banner, 2015. Re-discovering it on the cover of an old Peanuts book jolted Hughes’s memory and made him realise how the image had stayed with him and informed his interest in art. Recognising it as a very specific steer in his artistic development, Hughes flirted for years with using the image in his work, before deciding to reproduce it from memory on a banner in a definitive way.

WED 06 FEB 2018 | 13.00-13.30
MEL BRIMFIELD – VISUAL ARTIST AND SOMERSET HOUSE STUDIOS RESIDENT


Mel Brimfield’s lively and diverse visual art practice takes a skewed and tangled romp through the already vexed historiography of performance, appropriating theatrical and mainstream entertainment formats and genres to appraise the use and value of received cultural hierarchies.

Brimfield is drawn to the psychological themes Schulz employed in Peanuts comic strips and Lucy’s ‘Psychiatric Help’ booth holds particular appeal for the artist. Wary of the rising commodification of self-help in society, Brimfield finds it amusing that ‘the neighbourhood bully’ sets up as a shrink, as if at a lemonade stand, dispensing her opinions with inexhaustibly high self-esteem. Brimfield is currently researching the care given to patients with complex and co-morbid psychoses at King’s College London Department of Psychosis Studies. In her Talking Head Comics, 2018, she reconfigures the interviews she has had with various medical staff and alternative treatment providers into a series of drawings in the narrative style of comic books. For her Nuts strips, she draws herself as Peanuts characters; these function like self-portraits involving Lucy and Brimfield’s avatars in an ongoing therapeutic dialogue.